Naloxone therapy during focal cerebral ischemia evaluation in a primate model.
Conflicting reports have appeared in the literature regarding the effect of the opiate antagonist naloxone on ischemic neurologic deficits. We report the results of a study using naloxone in our model of focal cerebral ischemia in the awake primate. A total of 14 adult baboons were subjected to six-hour occlusion of the left middle cerebral artery (MCA). Seven animals served as controls and seven received treatment with naloxone (5 mg/kg) beginning 30 min after MCA occlusion and continuing until two hours after reperfusion. All animals developed profound hemiparesis and homonymous hemianopsia within seconds of inflating the MCA occluder. Acutely, therapy with naloxone partially reversed ischemic neurologic deficits in five of the seven treatment animals. Within minutes of receiving the loading dose of naloxone, responding animals were more alert and demonstrated improvements in motor function. Naloxone did not affect mortality: Three animals in the treatment group and two in the naloxone group died secondary to malignant intracranial pressure within 48 hours of the ischemic episode. In animals surviving the ischemic insult however, treatment with naloxone significantly improved neurologic outcome at 10 days (p less than 0.05). Neuropathologic examinations in these animals revealed amelioration of ischemic tissue damage, with three of the five suffering only small focal areas of infarction. (All control animals suffered large infarcts of the MCA territory.) Our results verify that naloxone can reverse ischemic deficits, and more importantly may improve the outcome from focal ischemic insults.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association